Advanced Curriculum Adoption

(This article was written in Nov 2008.)  Reposted here because the old website is inaccessible.

Some of the Advanced Curriculums in Cisco Academy Program are CCNA-Security and CCNP. Some of the expired advanced curriculums are Cisco Network Security and Cisco Wireless Networking. CiscoNetworking Academy started the program with CCNA and CCNP in late 90s. Exactly which year, we are not sure because MMU joined in the program in 2002. Cisco Networking Academy introduced two advanced Curriculum in late 2002, which are Wireless Networking and Network Security. There are also talks on introducing Cisco Voice and IP Telephony back then. The Cisco IPT was started a while in 2006 and then just stop there with much progress. In this article, some of the challenges in advanced curriculum adoption are described.


Before even talking about advanced curriculum, the academy CCNA program must be operating in steady condition. Some of the instructors must be CCNA certified and there are ongoing CCNA classes every 3-6 months with active student enrollment. Each year there should be at least 10 certified CCNA student coming out from the program. These are just merely an example the exact numbers may varies from academy to academy.




Problem 1. Cost of equipment

In advanced curriculum the equipment required is more expensive. Thus, not many academies can afford it. It may not be a problem in rich countries. In Malaysia, it may be a problem for some self-funding academies, for government academies they may be tied down with the lengthy financial purchasing procedure. The equipment cost can be 2-3x more than what is required for CCNA.


Problem 2. Instructor Training


Most of the advanced curriculum cannot be obtained inside a particular country unless there is sufficient funding to pay for the training fee of 10 persons, accommodation, flight and other expenses for CATC (CiscoAcademy Training Center) to fly an instructor to train in particular country.


The training fees per instructor for advanced curriculum are

CCNP one semester :- AUS$2100/- . 10 working days.

CCNA-Security :- around USD1000/-?5 working days. Philipine. This problem is solved as University Malaya is the CCNA-Security teaching center since 2012.

Flight, Accomodation, Food and other traveling expenses are excluded.


Problem 3. Cisco Voice Curriculum


In Cisco Voice Curriculum requires the most expensive equipment. Even some of the big academies in developed countries found it difficult to buy the required equipment for the voice curriculum. Thus, it will not be a large deployment as there will not be many takers. Finally, as of now (2008) there is no plans to introduce any voice curriculum.


Problem 4. Cisco Wireless Networking


When it was first introduced in 2002, the curriculum was written for IEEE802.11a/b. By the time, academy started their first class, IEEE802.11g came out. By the time, the curriculum due for review IEEE802.11n came out. Thus, the wireless industry grew too fast for everybody to catch up with them. This also means that the equipments need to be changed every 2-3 years, which is going to be too expensive for most academies. For CCNA, they still can use the old 2600 routers and it is still fine. Thus, in 2008 the wireless curriculum was put in unsupported state.


Problem 5. Cisco network security


Initially, there are two courses for Network Security which is Network Security-1 and Network Security-2. Each is a 5 day course by itself. Cisco PIX firewall is required for the course. Each PIX will cost RM10,000.00each. On minimum two PIX firewall is required to complete the laboratory question. On average for a class 6-8 PIX firewall are required for a class size of 10 to 15 students. That is a RM60,000.00 upfront capital cost with an uncertain return.


However, Cisco PIX firewall is already obsolete by 2008. Thus, the PIX component in Network Security was removed in CCNA-Security. The remaining Cisco IOS security part is covered in a 5 day instructor course. The new CATC for CCNA-Security is located in Philippine. Instructor who passed the Network Security-1 and Network-Security-2 course, are exempted from attending the CCNA-Security course.


With the removal of PIX firewall in the network security course, academy can leverage on their existing equipment used in CCNA. Thus, there will be a growth in CCNA-Security adoption in ASIAPAC region for few years to come.


Problem 6. Academy Setup


In order to run advanced curriculum, a large base of CCNA-4 graduated students is required. For every 100 CCNA-4 students, maybe only 10-30% of them will proceed with advanced curriculum. It all depends on interest, course fee, available time and other factors.


In some academies by the time student completed their CCNA4, they have only 1-2 semester left. Thus, they can only take 1-2 courses in advanced curriculum.


Some academies integrated their curriculum with CCNA, thus take some time to convince their management, authorities etc to make a change. This only happen every 3 to 8 years, depending on academies.



Problem 7. Student?????


A reasonable student size (> 8 person) is required before a class can begin. For CCNA program, all students are still inside the campus. Thus, marketing is very easy. Sales is right in-front of you. All you need to do is talk a bit. It is a fish farm, every day you just feed them end of the month, you scooped them up for sales. For advanced curriculum, the available qualified students are 75% lesser. Most of them already graduated. Thus, it will be a challenge to open a class unless additional student can be sourced from working-adults pool..


Problem 8. Laboratory


Over time academies must be able to run their courses in more than one lab. This will provide the maximum flexibility in lab class offering. However in most academies, CISCO course are conducted in the same lab irregardless of CCNA, CCNP etc. If an academy opens a CCNA class, the class size will be 20 students while a CCNP course may only have 5 students. Thus, it is more profitable to conduct CCNA courses instead.

More students are required before advanced Curriculum can be conducted.



Progress Status (instructors trained) in Malaysia



CCNP1 and CCNP2 :- Sufficient instructors trained.

CCNP3 : (Troubleshooting : Not so many students).

Most of the instructors trained are from MMU, UiTM, UM, UniKL and UTM. If there are some mistakes please let us know via email.

Hopefully, this enable the public to understand the challenges for Malaysian Academy to run these advanced curriculum courses for the public.

Thank You.

Networking Course (4 credit hour) vs Cisco Networking Academy Course.


A Computer Science Course should come with theory and practical. However, in some universities only networking theory is taught and there is virtually, no practical at all.

University Networking Course

Worst Case Scenario

a) Lecture 2-3 hours per week for 13 – 16 weeks for long semester

b) Tutorial 1 hours for 12  – 15 weeks for long semester

c) No Lab

d) 1 test (mid-term) 1-2 hour

e) 1 final exam?2-3 hour


Best case Scenario

a) Lecture 2-3 hours per week for 13 – 16 weeks for long semester

b) First 2-4 weeks tutorial

c) 5th -16th weeks Lab practical

d) 1 test (mid-term) 1-2 hour

e) 1-2 assignments

f) 1 final exam. 2-3 hour

Bear in mind that, for lecturer teaching is only part of their evaluation. They are also evaluated on research, grants, publication and postgraduate supervision. If the lecturers do everything to deliver the best case scenario, can they do everything or will they do it if they can? What about their research? In some universities, the lecturer has to teach for 15 hours per week, 3 semesters a year. How is the lecturer going to allocate his time?

CCNA Course

In each CCNA course there are

About 10 modules exam (online)

1 trial exam (online)

1 final exam (online)

1 skill based exam (practical)

lot of laboratory hand on practical.

lab–sheet is 200 page thick for laboratory exercises. How many hours does it take one to finish all that 200 sheet of laboratory exercise?

Lecturer saves a lot of time on material content, assessment and laboratory exercise.


Let look at each of the item one by one so that you can judge it by yourself.


Non-Cisco Academy Cisco Academy
1. Text-book Buy/Borrow Books Online-Material. Free ?online access. Pay internet charges. Free if Internet access is widely available
2. Text-book lab exercise Most text books are separated into theory and practical. If you want both, you have to buy 2 books. Many practical text books are difficult to read and lab exercise are difficult to follow. If lecturer prepares his own lab-sheet, how long does it take him to get a 200 page lab-sheet with answer as well?


Complete lab sheet done by a team of people. Most of the lab exercise can be done.
3. Text book content Only 1-3 expert authors wrote the book on a wide range of topics. The online content is written by a team of people with feedback from thousands of students worldwide and some industrial feedback.
4. Lecture notes content Provided by the text books or lecturer own slides or a combination of both Standard lecture slides are provided. Lecturer can modified and enhance it
1. Marking Whether it is quizzes, test etc, thelecturer has to mark it. Online exam, automated marking
2. No of quizzes and test 2- 10 . How many? 10 modules exams, CNS online practical, online final exam.
3. Practical No of labs. 200 pages of lab sheet. Sufficient lab exercise for the whole semester.
1. Instructors Lecturer with Master Degree and above. Qualification varies from universities to universities Instructors are trained before they can start a class. They have to pass all the online exam, practical etc before they can start a class. Some Instructors took the industry certification and pass.
5 pillars
1. Ability Can talk only. Theory only

Can show (If there is lab exercise)

How many things can you show?

Can talk, can configure, can show.

CCNA2 :- Can configure IP routing + ACL on 5-6 routers



Some universities make the following arguments. You may want to look at the question portion of the argument before making your own judgments.


1. Teaching philosophy We should stress more on Theory. Practical they can learn once student join the industrial.
Questions How do I know the theory taught by the lecturer is correct if he can’t show it to me in real-life?

We don’t expect the lecturer to show 100%, perhaps maybe 50% of what is taught.

In theory, there can be many variations? It depends on how you describe it. How do we know a particular theory is feasible or not from implementation point of view?


2. Vendor specific We must not be biased
Question In order to be vendor independent then you need to have equipment from at least 3-5 different vendors. Do you have the budget to buy? What will be the equipment utilization? Can you find or afford a staff that knows most or some of the things from 3-5 different vendors and if he doesn’t, is he willing to learn? Will he stay after he had learnt?


Please bear in mind, open-source implementation is not so easy to learn.

3. Reputation We can do it on our own. No need to depend on other.
Question Let us look at their university lecturer profile if they said they can be stand-alone

a)       no of working networking implementation in undergraduate and post-graduate program

b)      no of real-life working implementation in undergraduate and post-graduate program

c)      Staff industrial attachment or working experience to networking vendors

d)      No of (ISI-cited) journal publication in networking

e)       Contribution to open source implementation in networking

f)       No of Patent


If you have some of these then you can be on your own, otherwise you may need Cisco Networking Academy Program as a jump start.

4. No problem Our degree program is already popular why change?
Question Subsidize situation.

If the meal is free, even a simple nasi-lemak people will queue for it.

When you start to charge, then only you know how tasty is your nasi-lemak?

During recession, you will be the first to hit.


Private university (popular)

During the years of peak IT course 2001/2002, some universities had 1000 IT students in one year for 3 year program. Once these students leave, there are only 1000 IT student in the whole 3 year program. If you don’t plan or embrace changes, but the time the changes come, it is too late to survive.



Lecturer can learn from the existing material and then re-enforce their learning when they teach.

Cisco Networking Courses + Lecturer Modification and Fine-tuning ?/span> Best Course for students.


If you are getting just a theory class for your networking course, then you should begin to ask your lecturer why other universities student gets to configure router and switches in their classes.




MMU Cisco Networking Academy Instructors use its best effort to make sure information on this article is accurate and up to date. We cannot take any responsibility for any loss and liabilities arising out of use of the information on this article. Some parts of the article are merely instructors’ comments. If there is any mistake, please send us an email. Thank You

Working Adults Student Problems.


There are many comments about the difficulties in enrolling Cisco program in MMU, getting the contact of the right person in-charged to talk to etc etc. Let us focus on specific problem one at a time.

Problem 1. Don’t know about MMU offering Cisco CCNA program

Some students said “If we have known it earlier, we could have come much earlier.?However, most of the times when someone does a google search on CCNA program in Malaysia, MMU FIT Cisco NetworkingAcademy website can be easily located. If someone commented this in 2005, 2006, probably it is acceptable but now it should be known to many.?Bear in mind newspaper advertise is quite expensive. It cost RM3,000/- per day to advertise in prime newspaper.

Problem 2. Immediate gratification

Whenever someone wants to enroll in CCNA class, they want it now. The problem is not everybody comes at the same time. One two person turn up every two week, how does a training center able to open a class in this scenario. After a while, they lose their interest as better prospect coming along the line. In order to attend classes, you must follow the schedule given by the training center. MMU FIT Cisco schedule is published long ago and repeated yearly. Nevertheless, if someone can commit more than ten paying students for a class at one time, then the class can start soon. So far, this has not happen before.


Problem 3.No commitment

For those who have sent in their registration form, they are invited to attend a two hour free preview on CCNA every time a new batch is started. The free preview enables attendee to understand the whole program in great detail. However, most of them did not make the effort to attend it. Rather, they prefer personalized attention via email, telephone or face to face meet-up. Bear in mind, if someone cannot commit to come for the two hours briefing which is free and known few months ahead of time. What kind of commitment can other expect from him when it comes to attending the class every Saturday or Sunday, pay the fee every semester, do online exam after working hours etc.


Problem 4. Logistic

The best way to contact us is via email, most emails are responded. Just make yourself available on the briefing day. Then everything will go smoothly as you’re following the session. It‘s impossible to buy any durian when the durian session is long over. As one always see in National Geography, if you look for mate after the mating session is over, you are done. Your genes are doomed.



Problem 5.  Money

Money is always an issue. It cost easily RM30,000.00 to RM75,000.00 to get an IT?degree in private university?depending on which university. Most IT degree does not focus much on practical. Yet, in no time, you will choose to enroll in it after your SPM, STPM or pre-U. Not much question is asked about the cost because it is affects your future. Sadly, after completing the degree, all education investment stopped.


However, you only pay RM4000.00 to get the real life hand-on practical. Yet it took you years to decide. You see why some people are very successful, because they are willing to invest for their future. There are few types of people,

a) Those who willing to invest time and money for themselves. “I will pay for my course

b) Those who willing to invest time but not money for themselves. As such they will grab every single scholarship available etc. “I will attend only if my company sponsors me

c) Those who not willing to invest time and money for themselves. “If I take this course, company must give me study leave and pay for the course. You wait lah

Progress is depended on investment.

Thank You.

Margin to pass CCNA test.

CCNA Margin

In this article, we going to present to reader what are the technical margin to pass the CCNA Certification. Reader will better understanding how to study and pass their certification exam. The passing marks for 640-801 CCNA 200-125 (new exam code)  is 849/1000. Out of the 60 questions, assume each question has the same marks you need to get 51 questions correct. 51/60 = 85%

The question can be in the form of

a) Multiple Choice Single Answer Question

b) Multiple Choices Multiple Answers Question

c) Drag and Drop

d) Fill in the Blank

e) Router Simulation

f) Others

To be realistic, let assume everybody are just average. Below is the realistic target

No Questions Target Verdict
1 Multiple Choice Single Answer Some mistake 95% confident
2 Multiple Choice Multiple Answer Some mistake 95% confident
3 Drag and Drop Zero /no mistake 100% confident
4 Fill in the Blank Zero /no mistake 100% confident
5 Router Simulation Zero /no mistake

Whatever stated in the text, complete it

Even though you 100% confident. You will never get 100% mark
6 Others Zero / no mistake 100% confident

Generally, no matter how good and confident you are, you will get wrong for 3-5 questions either from router simulations and the multiple choice question. So, that will leave you with a margin of 3-4 questions with doubtful answers and the rest of the questions you must know 100%.

If the question is Multiple Choice Single Answer Question, statistically you may be unsure to choose from 2-3 choices. Thus, you have only 33% chances of getting it right.

If the question is Multiple Choice Multiple Answer Question, the number of different combination is 10 or ( 5C2 ). Assume, unsure in 4 out of the 5 choices, thus, you only have 10% – 25% of getting it right. Thus, if you are doubtful in 4 questions, chances are you will get only 1 question right.


Study 110% before you sit for the certification exam. Don’t take the exam if you are not confident and without adequate preparation as it will be a waste of money.

Get the latest exam scope correct at . This will be helpful in determining what you need to study. Candidate on budget tends to get books from library or friends. Thus most likely it is not the latest book and probability of an outdated book is high. In these books, some of the new syllabus may not be included in the book but some of the old syllabus is still be there.

You must have adequate hand-on experience or lab practice. There are just too many combinations in lab practice, thus it is something you have to understand and cannot be memorized. Without hand-on experience, you cannot pass the simulation exam. Those who failed the simulation exam normally fail the certification exam.

Don’t be over-confident.

Candidate mind: “Arh, I play with Cisco7000, 5 year working experience. Should be no problem for me?”

After the exam, when he see the score 780/1000 Failed.

Over-confident candidate tends to read the question quickly and assume their understood the question and give the answer immediately. Thus, they fail into the trap.

You must read the question and see the network diagram carefully before you answer.

Plan your time properly. Monitor your remaining time and progress every 20 minutes.

Off all the multiple choice questions, you can only be unsure of 3-4 questions. The rest you have to be 100% sure.

Try out some CCNA preparation test question (At least 200 – 500 questions) either from Cisco Press, Cisco Leaning Connection ( or other third party vendor before you sit for the certification exam. This is certainly helpful.

Now, if someone just come and tell you that they managed to pass by flipping through the books for 1-2 weeks. Would you buy their story? I definitely will not buy the story unless I said “aksjhdf;lasdf0980q2935234k5tlnglsajdgvo8sadgsazfdvg;l” to him and he recalled it back 85% correctly to me.

Good Luck.

published in 23rd July 2006. (republished here as old website  is no longer available).


CCNA Tips.

1. Why do you want a CCNA?
The key reason to obtain a CCNA qualification is to gain a better career prospect in terms of salary, job mobility etc. Some professionals who are interested to work in computer networking area will find having a CCNA is helpful. This certification also enables one to move from existing job into computer networking job. Other reasons such as want to prove oneself, self-interest is not the major reason as the certification cost time and money to study.

2. Basic Confusion
In any certification, the training and the actual certification exam must be separated. Otherwise, the certification will merely be awarded to those who can afford to pay for the training rather that actual exhibition of knowledge and skill. Even though you have attended CCNA, CCNP etc training, you will only be given the certificate of attendance and not the actual CCNA certification itself. To obtain the actual certification, you need to sit for the exam in Prometric or VUE test center.

3. Actual Certification Exam
Firstly, any individual can register for the exam at . The current examination code is 200-125 and the cost is US$295.00. The certification cost was US$100.00 in year 2001. You need a credit card to register online. Once you register online with, you can schedule your exam at various test-center online. You shall turn up at the test-center to take your exam as scheduled. The exam duration is 2 hour, the passing mark is 849/1000 and you will know your result immediately after the test.

The test I gone through consist of 60 questions. The questions consist of MCQ (multiple Choice Questions), MCMA (Multiple Choice Multiple Answer), router simulation (correct the router in a network with some configuration error, the IOS does not have any help function), drag and drop and fill-in the blank. Once you proceed to the next questions, you cannot go back to the previous question.

Once you pass the certification, you may need to login to Cisco certification website to validate your name (first name, last name issues). In few weeks time, Cisco send you a hardcopy of your CCNA Certificate along with a small card stating your CCNA certification. You can also login to certification website to generate a URL link and attach it to your email to show to someone else that your are CCNA certified. The CCNA will be valid for 3 years from the date you pass your exam. After that you can re-certified your CCNA by taking any CCNP exam or a CCNA re-certification exam.

4. Problems in Getting CCNA
Wherever you work, you begin to realize how sincere your colleagues in embarking their knowledge to you in your daily work or for your career advancement. There may be very few person out there who are going to teach you the important networking skill as their very position, salary etc depend very much on it as well. If you found one, it is important for you to leverage on him/her. Therefore, it is important to learn via own initiative, passive self-observation, asking question and most important taking up the challenge yourself (Take the router and lock up yourself in a room until certain things is done etc).

5. Options to obtain your CCNA certification.
The first option is via own self-study. You can either borrow some books from the library to study for 1-3 months before taking the exam. From what I heard, this approach seems to be working for some candidates in 1997 – 2001. However, it may be difficult to do it on the current certification 200-125. In case, you have decided to use this approach make sure you read the latest version of CCNA books. It is recommended that you have some router practice before taking the test. For most people, when they saw the thick textbook, their mood was gone. Some started to fall asleep once they flipped through the first few pages. Books are difficult to read, outdated quickly and mainly meant for dedicated people who intend to pursue their certification. If you are an average intelligent person, books are not that helpful.

The second option is to leverage on existing spare equipment in your company along with self-study on the theory, using books. Try to configure the spare Cisco router in your company, this will improve your hand-on knowledge. It is much easier if your company is a service provider, university or vendor selling Cisco product. Those who have done sufficient hand-on should be able to pass the exam.

The third option is to attend some training. There are 3 options in attending a training session.

Cisco Training Partner,

Cisco Online Training Partner,

Cisco Networking Academies

5.1 Training Partner.
As far as I know there are few certified Cisco Training Partner in Malaysia. There are IMS Asia, Global Knowledge and DimensionData. The 5 days course fee is about RM4000 – RM5000. You can check their course fee at the following website Other institutions (non-certified) may be offering Cisco course on their own. They developed their own curriculum, course material etc. The course fee for attending CCNA may be as low as RM800/= or RM1500/=. Some of the things you should ask before attending the course are

No of days for theory and practical

Equipment available for practical. Is it actual router or router simulation software

If some training center advertise that they have achieved very high passing rate for their CCNA attendee. You should ask whether the exam is the actual certification exam or a practice certification exam?

Is there any certificate exam voucher given to the candidate

Basically, the training is targeted at experience people who need to know some Cisco specific IOS command before attempting their certification exam.

5.2 Online Training Partner.
I have heard some form of self-study via Web subscription to Cisco Online Training Partner. I’m not very sure about the details of these self-study training.

5.3 Cisco Networking Academy
You can also enroll in networking academy program to study for CCNA. The chances of obtain an actual CCNA certification is much higher compare to other options. However, the main issues with the networking academy program for working professional are depth and long duration of the course

There are 4 semester

Each semester there are 300 MCQ and MCMA of online exam and 1-2 skill-based exam

Minimum duration to complete the 4 semester is 6 months

We found from our APEC-CCNA program that many working professional may not have the time and the mental endurance to complete the whole program.

If you are still studying and your university happen to be a Cisco Networking Academy, you may contact the instructor in your university to enroll you into the program. Upon enrollment you will be given access to Cisco Networking online CCNA curriculum. The curriculum is very good and it is much better than any CCNA textbook I have seen. Each academy is equipped with a bundle of 5-6 routers and 2-3 switches. The hardware is sufficient to perform most of the required experiment at CCNA level. From our experience with MMU student, it will take roughly 10 days full-time (teaching & lab practice) for an average student who knows nothing about Cisco Router to learn up the basic IOS command, configure and do some troubleshooting. Topics covered include basic router configuration, password recovery, serial link configuration, RIP and ACL (up to CCNA semester 2 level).

6. How do you go from here?
6.1 If you are still studying in university
It is known that student take CCNA course to enhance their job prospect upon graduation. However, if you are a first class student. The job may be waiting for you even before you graduate. Therefore, you may not want to take CCNA as it cost you time and money. However, you can still take it if you are very interested in networking and intend to go into that field upon graduation.

For average student, if you have the time to study CCNA, try to enroll in the networking academy program. Upon completion of your studies, I would recommend you to go for the actual certification exam. Once you graduated and you already have the actual CCNA certificate, it is much easier to negotiate for a job, salary etc. Once the employer sees the actual certification, a lot of the unnecessary questions disappear. Some may just bring you to their lab and ask you to configure the router straight away as a proof of your skill.

After graduation, the main issues (“salary”) pop-up. Let say you got a job as an analyst programmer RM2500/= per month versus a network engineer RM1800/= per month. Which job will you choose? What is your objective in the first place? How do you compromise financial rewards with your career interest? That is something, I cannot answer. I have seen my CCNA student end up doing J2EE for extra 300 – 400 bucks.

If you are really interested in networking field, you might need to wait for the right job to come by even if the initial salary is much lower than other job. Working on a job that you are passionate about will greatly advance you in your career as time goes on.

If you really have the time and money, you may want to go for CCNP. However, your first few job may not be related to networking at all. Therefore, it may be prudent not to invest your time and money on CCNP unless you are certain on your return of investment.

6.2 If your are working already
You should know that not all jobs need CCNA. If you are currently working in an environment where required you to understand the Cisco routers, a CCNA will be helpful in your career. Otherwise, it may be just a matter of self-interest or since the company is paying for the training, then there is nothing to lose. Once you are certain that you can get a better salary, prospect or career in networking line with Cisco equipment, then you may want to pursue your CCNP. Otherwise, it may be difficult to justify the money and time you spend on CCNP course. The certification exam course US$600/= and the course fee may be anything between RM5000 to RM20000.

7. Salary
After searching through the internet and talking to some people in the industry I come up with the general monthly salary figure for CCNA, CCNP and CCIE holder.

CCNA Holder : RM2000 – RM4000
CCNP Holder: RM3500 – RM7000
CCIE Holder: RM8000 – RM15,000

The salary shown is just an estimate, it may be more for those in management and sales position.

8. Certification Statistic
I think the certification statistic is confidential. Despite searching for so long, until today, I don’t know the passing rate for CCNA, CCNP, CCIE and the number of individual with CCNA and CCNP. Please let me know if I’m wrong. Email to (

All I know is there are about 100 CCIE holders in Malaysia, on average a CCIE holder takes 2-3 time to pass their exam. There is no other way then to predict. So, I have done a simulation on number of CCNA, CCNP holder.

9. Job Market.
Compare to last decade, the number of position for network engineer is lesser. In the early 90s, before the “COINS” comes into the picture, “Telekom” use to sell only raw connectivity. Each bank, MNC will have to maintain their own networks. They need to purchase their own routers, hire their own engineer, have a network manager etc. When COINS came into the picture, the number of routers need in each banks, MNC is greatly reduced by using Frame-Relay DLCI. With less equipment to be sold lead to less System Integrator, resulted in less people to be hired. The number of networking vendors also had reduced from 1990s. Now the market is reduced to few vendors such as Cisco, Juniper, Huawei etc.

For small to medium size companies, it may be easier and cheaper to outsource their network or e-commerce operation to an Internet Data Center or Managed Service Provider than to maintain their own network. Instead IDC will managed the network, web-site for many companies. They have the economy of scale to hire good networking staff. The only network that left in the company will be purely for Internet access. Internet access can be achieved via reliable low cost DSL solution. Little or no configuration is needed for Internet access. Configuration can also be bundled as an integrated solution along with a medium size purchases of tens of PCs and few Intel server. Therefore, higher productive has lead to less job opportunities in networking field. There is a good book on “Strategies for Web Hosting and Managed Services” by Doug Kaye published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. You may want to refer to it for more information on IDC.

We are not sure about the yearly market size for sales of data networking equipment in Malaysia. Some said it is about RM500 million. If you do know, please email us ( To some extend that will determine how many job opening available.

10. Job Spec
In the end-user environment how often your router, switches hang once the network is configured properly. (Once a month or once every 3 month). Compare this with your Windows 2003 server and other Operating System. It seems that network equipment have a high reliability than Operating System and Application. Therefore, it may be concluded that there is less job for networking side but more jobs in Operating System and Application side. What jobs are you going to do once the network is functioning properly? Wait for the network to hangs. Well, you can always do some network performance monitoring, auditing on the IDS log or firewall log, preventing DDOS attack, planning for the next phase of network infrastructure. For how long you can keep doing or saying this I ‘m not sure. Unless your company network is very big (2000 – 5000 nodes) or your network company is expanding so quickly that a dedicated networking staff is needed to monitor the network from time to time.

The main question remain, what incentive does your boss get by keeping you in his/company payroll when you are no longer useful? What is your promotion prospect? Therefore, you should supplement your networking skill (CCNA) with Microsoft platform or Unix platform. By doing so, the number of jobs you can apply to is larger. Every 2 weeks, there is virus attack, some new employee come in, new email account has to be created etc. There is job for you. Once the network is functioning properly, you can also do some other Operating System job such as system administration etc. This will keep you in payroll especially for end-user or small system-integrator environment. In the case of system-integrator, there will be more jobs when there is new building or infrastructure coming up. The conclusion is you don’ t have the privilege to know only computer networking unless you are working with big companies.

11. Interesting Questions

I have some doubts with the following things

  1. You just need to pass the certification once. After that from end user company perspective, you are knowledgeable enough. The end user is quite forgiving in term of expiry of your certification. Answer: True/False/Depends.
  2. Your actual job spec may be using 20 – 30% of the whole CCNP syllabus.

Answer: Yes/No

  1. Re-certification is extremely difficult after a long rest without practice.

Answer: Yes/No

If you feel that this article is useful, please forward it your friend. Please feel free to email to us ( if you have any comment, correction or you want me to add something on it. Thank You.